February 20, 2008

February 20 | Zachary Breaux

June 26, 1960 - February 20, 1997: Age 36

Zachary Breaux, a New York-based jazz guitarist, was building sandcastles on a beach in Miami with his wife and daughters when he heard Eugenie Poleyeff calling for help. She had been swimming along the shore when she was suddenly caught in a riptide. A riptide or rip current is a relatively narrow "slice" of water that has a strong current away from the shore. It's nearly impossible to spot, and many swimmers are imperilled when they are caught and dragged far from shore while they exhaust themselves trying to escape. It is as though the sea inexplicably decides to snatch them away.

Breaux rushed to the woman's aid while his wife ran to find a lifeguard. He was a vigorous man and an excellent swimmer, having already saved a man from drowning in Italy ten years before, and probably confident he could help her. Both swimmers, however, were overcome by the current, and thrashed helplessly while it carried them farther from shore. A number of other men rushed to their aid, but some of them, too, to be rescued when lifeguards fetched from another beach some distance away finally arrived. Breaux and Poleyeff were given CPR on shore, but it was too late: both were dead.

Sources: Wikipedia, Reader's Digest

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